Bayer, Temasek set up joint venture to innovate for vertical vegetable farming

13, Aug. 2020

(Photo courtesy of Unfold)
(Photo courtesy of Unfold)

SINGAPORE, NNA – German chemical and life science giant Bayer AG and the Singapore government’s investment arm Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd. have set up a joint venture with $30 million in initial capital to develop vegetable varieties for indoor vertical farming.

Unfold, the JV based in Davis, California will operate there and in Singapore, and will focus on seed genetic engineering to leverage quality, efficiency and sustainability, the two companies said in a joint statement Wednesday.

Bayer invested in the new entity through Leaps by Bayer, its impact investment arm. Bayer has agreed to provide rights to germplasm from its vegetable portfolio, the statement said.

The companies did not disclose the venture’s shareholding structure.

“What sets Unfold apart is its unparalleled investment in germplasm and crop growth models best suited for vertical farming environments, an area currently largely underserved,” John Purcell, Unfold’s CEO said in the statement.

Vertical farms offer a way to grow food crops with a smaller environmental footprint, and are well-suited for locations with little arable land. The venture is aimed at tapping demand in Singapore, where demand for fresh, sustainable and locally grown produce is increasing, the statement said.